Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your Kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us the bread we need for today. Forgive our wrongs as we forgive the wrongs of others. Keep us from temptation and protect us from evil. For yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
From Eyewitness: The Life of Christ Told in One Story
Get rid of all bitterness, anger, and vengefulness. Avoid quarreling and slander, shunning all kinds of malice. — Ephesians 4:31
Sin is failure to do the good you know you should do. — James 4:17
If I had suffered an abusive childhood, had intolerant teachers in school, or my boss was too demanding, I might use those bad breaks to excuse my faults and failures. However, I would be wrong in doing so.
I have no good excuse.
No matter what my hardships have been, I can’t truthfully say, “It’s not my fault.”
Comedian Flip Wilson once said, “The devil made me do it,” but even that excuse isn’t valid. A legion of evil spirits wasn’t enough to keep the demonic from falling at the feet of Jesus (Mark 5:6).
As a sinner, I wasn’t forced to do right (Romans 6:20). As a righteous person, I’m not forced to do wrong. I can pray, “Deliver me from evil,” but I need to remember that my choice depends on my desire, not God’s.
How can I win the war within?
To win the war, I must correctly identify both the enemy and the battleground. Satan is the enemy because his message opposes the truth of God, but victory comes only when I completely surrender my will to whatever God wants (James 4:7).
When I pray to be kept from evil, I’m looking for God’s help in changing my desires to what they need to be.